Dan Burke

Grêmio’s Renato Gaúcho backs Marcelo Bielsa amid Spygate scandal

In 2017, with Grêmio heading towards the Copa Libertadores title, coach Renato Portaluppi was at the centre of a scandal when it emerged that he had been spying on his side’s opponents using drones.

The subject of football espionage has been in the news again recently after Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa was forced to admit that he also secretly watches his opponents when one of his spies was caught red-handed at Derby County’s training ground.

But when asked about the controversy, Renato Gaúcho offered his full support to Bielsa.

“I applaud Bielsa, because he was very sincere, as I was,” the Grêmio boss told Globo’s Spectacular Sport.

“All through the Libertadores that I played here in Grêmio, we got a lot of rehearsed plays from our opponents because of our spies, who help us a lot.

“Are you going to say that it’s unethical?”

Grêmio host Avenida in the Campeonato Gaúcho on Sunday evening.